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Ilya Repin
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    (August 5, 1844-September 29, 1930)
    Born in Chuhuiv, Ukraine
    Leading realist painter from Russia
    Graduated from Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg (1871)
    Paintings include 'Raising of Jairus' Daughter' (1871), 'Barge Haulers on the Volga' (1873), 'Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom' (1876), 'Religious Procession in Kursk Province' (1883), 'Unexpected Return' (1884), 'Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan' (1885), 'Refusal of the Confession' (1885), 'Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks' (1891), 'Ceremonial Session of the State Council 1900' (1903), and '17 October 1905' (1911)
    Earned the title academician (1876)
    Joined an association of artists known as the Itinerants, who protested against the focus on painting mythological and neo-classical themes (1878)
    Also painted the portraits of famous contemporaries, including Aleksey Pisemsky (1880), Modest Mussorgsky (1881), Ivan Kramskoi (1882), Dmitri Mendeleev (1885), Leo Tolstoy(1887), and Maksim Gorky (1899)
    Awarded Legion of Honor (1901)
    Died in his estate at Kuokkala (now called Repino)
    Some critics and fellow artists accused him of 'inconsistency' and 'externalism' in his works, which he shrugged off.
    He was also accused of inaccurately depicting the circumstances behind Ivan the Terrible killing his son in 'Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan'.
    He criticized the French Impressionists, saying that they were 'more interested in costumes, colors, and light rather than people'.
    He had an unhappy family life during his first marriage, eventually culminating in divorce. (1882)
    Even though he welcomed the 1917 Russian Revolution, he rejected invitations to return to his native Russia when his estate became part of Finland.
    His painting style was used by the Soviet Union as a basis for socialist realism.
    He was the first Russian painter to gain widespread fame and recognition in the West.
    In painting, he preferred the nature and character of his subjects over academic formalism.
    His contemporaries praised him for his ability to depict ordinary people for who they are.
    His portraits depicted his subjects fully and in their natural state rather than focus on their faces only.
    His right hand started weakening after he finished painting 'Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan', depriving him from the ability to draw.
    Even after his divorce from his first wife, they still maintained a friendly relationship afterwards.
    He protested against Tsarist repression since the 1905 protests, when government forces opened fire on protesters.

Credit: Big Lenny

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